Summary: A series of 'missing scenes' for the original OW series from the author's and JD's POV
Disclaimer: Just playing. I know I can't keep `em...damnit!
A JD POV for a missing scene for each episode was brought to the table by Robijean and I couldn't resist! So here is the first of, I hope, one for each episode.
Thanks to Phyllis for betaing this. Comments welcome.
My thanks also to Nancy and Blackraptor for the transcript archive, and for giving my stories a home.
"Buck..." JD almost choked, the emotion thick in his throat as he looked down at the injured man. Buck looked weakly up at him and attempted a smile as he removed his hat and held it out toward JD.
"Hey, kid... do me a favor. Get yourself a real hat. Never did get to spend any time with those fine ladies."
Nathan was examining the wound as he spoke softly to Buck. "You will, but first let's get you stitched up, Buck."
Despite his small stature, JD was determined to help Nathan get Buck to cover so he could work on the big guy. The easterner was terrified. This man that he barely knew, had stepped out and taken a blow that, in JD's mind, would have certainly killed *him*, but for now, all JD could focus on was that he didn't want Buck to die.
As they lay Buck down, Chris and Vin were laying Josiah down also.
"Put him on his front," Nathan called to them, "And hold somethin' over the wound `til I can git to it."
JD was shaking, `God two men hurt because of me.' He looked shyly over to Larabee, but the man in black's face was giving nothing away.
The easterner was jerked from his reverie as Nathan issued his command, moving instantly but not so far away as not to see Wilmington's pained features. In seconds, something inside JD kicked in and he was once again next to the injured man's head. He dropped to his knees.
"Buck I'm so sorry. I just wanted it over wanted Anderson dead. It should be me lying here. Why would you do this for me? You hardly know me, and now look at you look what I've done to you."
Buck's eyelids flickered open and blue eyes stared intensely into wide frightened hazel orbs. Wilmington's hand came up and JD instinctively grasped at it, not knowing what else to do at that moment.
" Now you listen up. This here is my doing I made a decision my choice "
"But if I hadn't've "
"Hush told ya my choice kinda taken to ya kid no idea why just have."
Despite the lump of pain and anguish filling his throat and chest, JD felt comforted by those words and realized more than anything that he wanted this man to live. Even if he wasn't allowed to stay with these men he was seriously expecting Larabee to send him on his way after this he wanted Buck and Josiah well and strong again, so he could thank them properly. He looked back at Buck as he felt a squeeze to his hand.
"Kid you `n' me gonna have us a little talk when I'm fixed up."
Dunne gave a hint of a smile. "You threatnin' me now, Buck, `coz I gotta tell ya, from where I'm standin' right now, I'm in the better position."
The brunet laughed softly, "You ain't standing, and don't be sassin' me son I got a long memory, now git I need to sleep right now."
As Buck closed his eyes, JD looked at Nathan as the fear came rushing back. Nathan smiled.
"He's gonna be fine, JD talkin' to him like that you did real good. Now go, and let me finish up here."
As JD stood and turned to walk away a hand came down firmly on his shoulder. He turned only to meet flashing green eyes. The youth dropped his gaze directly to the ground.
"Ch Chris I "
"That was one of the dumbest things I've ever seen, JD "
Dunne nodded, still not looking up.
" and one of the bravest."
JD stopped nodding, finally raising his head. "Wh what?"
"Buck's his own man, kid makes his own decisions just like you did. Yeah it was brave, but if I ever see you do something like that again I'll shoot ya myself."
With that, Chris walked away. JD stared after the man, the words still ringing in his ears. 'Chris Larabee thought I was brave?' As he turned Buck's hat around in his hands, JD's stomach decided it had had enough for one day and lurched, sending the youth off to the cover of some rocks to empty it in private.
Vin tilted his head. The noise was barely audible but it was enough to prompt the Texan to go check. As he rounded some rocks, he could see JD huddled on the ground, hugging his knees to his chest, his head resting on them as he sobbed softly. Buck's hat was hanging from a vice-like grip just below the bent up limbs. Vin hesitated for a moment then decided to approach.
Thoroughly embarrassed, the boy swiped angrily at his face.
"Go away Vin please."
Tanner side-stepped the vomit and joined JD on the ground.
"Cain't do that not when your like this. You wanna tell me what's ailin' you?"
JD shook his head `no' but was talking even as he was doing it.
"I feel awful about Buck and Josiah, it should be me there bleedin' on those cots, not them I should be dead now."
"Well then I best go tell `em both to die." As Vin went to rise, JD looked up and grabbed his wrist.
"What what are you saying? Why would you do that?"
Tanner sat back down. "Thought it best for `em they'd be pretty hurt ta hear ya say a thing like that after what they did for you an' all."
"Don't twist my words, Vin."
"Don't need to yer doin' a pretty good job o' that yourself."
JD buried his face. "You know I don't want them to die."
"I do but you just took what they did an' made it as nothin' a man offers his life for a reason, kid usually his own reasons and it's a precious gift."
"I know I I'm sorry."
"No need to be as I recall, you `bout did the same thing for the rest of us."
JD looked at the Texan. "Huh?"
"Anderson wouldn't go down we all tried to get him but he just stayed right up there, on that horse. In spite o' that, ya done stepped out there to try an' put the man down to end it for all of us. Y'almost died, JD it may have been plum crazy but you did it anyway an' I wanna say thanks."
Vin almost laughed at the look on the younger man's face. He rose to his feet, squeezing JD's arm.
"Come'n get some food in yer." He pointed to the vomit, "Looks like your stomach needs some fillin'."
With a weary nod, JD watched him leave and for the third time that day he felt comforted.
The next morning as Ezra played with the children, JD laughed. The boy's spirits were lighter; Buck and Josiah were recovering well and Larabee had decided to move out so they were all packing up. The southerner approached.
"I must say, you are looking in better spirits today, Mister Dunne."
JD nodded, "Yeah, Buck and Josiah are sitting up and eating and talking. They're both doing real good."
"Well that is good news."
"Yes, Mister Dunne."
"Do you think what we did here was brave?"
Standish smiled. "JD I have never considered myself a brave man. What we all did here was honorable what *some* of us did was brave. What I am more interested in now though, is what we have gained. I have no idea in which direction destiny will take us, but for now we will travel its path in the company of good friends, whether that will be in the physical, or simply in our hearts and minds will remain to be seen. These past events have changed us all." He smiled at the boy, "For myself, I most definitely consider that as a positive."
As Ezra tipped his hat and walked away, JD turned to see Josiah walking awkwardly toward his horse. The boy trotted over to speak to him.
The preacher stopped. "John Dunne, what can I help you with?"
"Actually, I came to see if I could help you."
"No need son, but I appreciate the thought." He noticed the boy seemed to have more to say as he stared awkwardly at the ground. "Was there something else, JD?"
"I I just wanted to say I'm sorry for you getting hurt when you protected Buck. It was all my doing I "
JD looked up from the ground as he felt a strong hand on his shoulder; he hadn't realized the man had moved closer to him.
"JD while I'm grateful for the consideration, I can assure you I do not believe you to be in any way responsible, save for the fact that you made the opening move which I actually thought was courageous, if not a little ill thought-out. How it played out from there was down to fate, and as fate would have it we are all here to tell the tale. All I would say is this, learn from this and you will be a better man for it and if I'm reading the signs correctly you will have several good men to guide you on your way to becoming that man."
JD smiled at Josiah and nodded. Sanchez walked on toward his horse. Looking around JD could see Chris and Vin saying goodbye to Tastanagi. Rain and Nathan were talking and the boy wondered if the healer would be leaving or staying. Turning at the sound of a horse approaching, his face lit up.
"Hey, kid... If you're not going to wear that hat, then I'll take it back."
JD couldn't believe Buck was sitting there on his horse. He was well enough to ride.
"Buck! But you look awful."
Buck smiled widely at the honest observation.
"Well, son, it's damn near impossible. Ooh. You riding with us?"
Those final four words made JD's heart soar. His smile was as wide as his face.
"Try and keep me away. Yee-haw!"
As JD jumped straight from the ground onto his horse, Buck couldn't help laughing at his new friend's exuberance, but the action caused him to protectively hold his injury.
"Don't make me laugh, kid."
JD trotted his horse toward Buck, still smiling. Laughing yeah it had been quite a while since JD had found a good reason to laugh and be happy. Maybe this was truly the new beginning he had longed for. He excitedly looked across the line of, counting himself, seven men on horseback and felt comforted.